Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is visceral….. I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Visceral – coming from strong emotions and not from logic or reason;
of or relating to the viscera (medical)
Today I’m going to talk about visceral fat instead of visceral reactions. Of course, one could have a visceral reaction to suddenly gaining large amounts of visceral fat…
There are two main types of fat in the body – visceral and subcutaneous.
- Visceral Fat – Fat surrounding the internal organs
- Subcutaneous Fat – Fat found just beneath the skin
I remember learning about these two types of fat in college and then not really giving them a second thought until years later – like now. No, not because I’m writing this particular post and the word of the week is visceral (who picks these words anyway?), but because as I’m quickly approaching my sixties, I’m utterly amazed as I watch my body change.
I hope that the only fat that I’m currently fighting is subcutaneous fat. You know, the muffin top fat – the fat that starts creeping in as we hit forty, becomes increasingly stubborn as we hit fifty, and I’m afraid will consider my body the perfect host by the time I hit sixty. Perhaps there’s a good reason our vision diminishes as our fat stores increase – so we can’t see our bodies changing!
In the longterm, I will continue to do what I can to fight middle age spread so I won’t have to go out and buy a new wardrobe. I’ll practice what I preach just like I’ve done for years and I’ll follow the same guidelines I set up for my clients – eight of which I’ll share with you.
Eight ways to fight middle age spread:
- Lift weights – Strength training rebuilds the lean muscle you’re losing at a staggering rate.
- Walk, run, or bike – Find ways to burn extra calories that aren’t being burned as readily with your slower middle age metabolism.
- Focus on portion sizes and be willing to cut back as your metabolism slows and your body needs fewer calories. Most of us eat larger than normal portions anyway.
- If you’re already working out, bump it up a notch to challenge your body to burn more calories and build more muscle.
- Stay well hydrated – We often reach for food when we’re simply thirsty.
- Focus on eating lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and complex carbs; however, allow yourself the occasional treat or you’ll feel deprived and most likely sabotage your healthy eating plan before you even make your lifestyle change.
- Get out of the habit of snacking while watching TV, especially late at night.
- Plan out your daily food intake rather than eating whenever and whatever you want.
As we focus on our muffin tops, we need to remember that it’s the hidden, deeper visceral fat that we really need to be worried about. Visceral fat is far more dangerous because it surrounds our internal organs and contributes to higher incidences of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Visceral fat isn’t as obvious as subcutaneous fat, but chances are good that if you’re a woman and have a waist larger than 35 inches or if you’re a man and have a waist larger than 40 inches, you should be concerned and take action to lose that dangerous belly fat.
If you are concerned that visceral fat could be lurking deep within your body, following the eight suggestions above would be a great place to start, as well as visiting your doctor.
No matter your age, what changes in your body have you seen in the last five years (good or bad!)?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Pragmatic